After two years commuting to Sydney, and 7 years working from home in Kangaroo Valley, this month I moved my editing consultancy into the former doctor’s office next to the pharmacy. It’s the texture workroom, so I’ll be working with editing, publishing and digital media clients here, but it’s also a community reading room.
As I was lying awake in the wee hours one night in 2005, back in the city, a lot of thought-threads knitted themselves together into an idea: what if texture could become a hub, not just for my editing activities but also for community engagement with words? I started looking longingly (and unrealistically) at empty factories and workshops in the area; an old cake shop. But on my salary, I knew I was dreaming. Later that year I moved to a bush property in Kangaroo Valley and found myself working on a much bigger project.
What’s a community reading room?
It’s taken a long time but the dream is now a reality, albeit in prototype phase. I’ll be using the window space to promote Australian books and authors. The name ‘reading room’ is a name I made up for the space I want to share with you — a space for reading and wordplay, or just somewhere to stop and breathe out. I have big ideas, but I’m starting with an open door policy, and occasional reading and writing events. So, when you’re in town, please feel welcome to pop in to browse the books on display, or to pick up something to read while you’re waiting for a script from the pharmacy, or for colour to set or nails to dry at the hair and beauty parlour.
Watch the window for our first texture storytime. Drop in or email me to find out about events, the books, or the Kangaroo Valley Editing in Paradise retreat for writers — to be held again at Avrajita, this May.
In January, the window has been devoted to Australian books, proudly watched over by Karri the Koala, mascot for Australian Voices in Print (AVIP) an association to promote Australian popular writers and writing. I’ll always be promoting our own. Why not join me in starting a new tradition for Australia Day and give an Aussie book at your gathering? I’m more than happy to provide purchasing advice, including for iPad, Kindle and other tablets and eReaders.
[A version of this story appears in the Kangaroo Valley Voice]